Bitcoin (BTC)–Investors in cryptocurrency, particularly the original coin BTC, have had an interesting week. While the currency managed to grow nearly 35% over the past two weeks, signaling what appeared to be the end of 2018’s prolonged bear cycle, the run was put to an abrupt halt following news of the Winklevoss twins’ bid for a Bitcoin ETF being denied by the SEC.
Bitcoin prices had hovered around $8300 for most of the week, before taking a plunge back into the $7900 range on Thursday when news broke that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had denied high profile crypto figures Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss the creation of a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund. The Winklevoss twins, who also founded the cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, had made a second attempt with the SEC on approval of a BTC-based ETF, which would mark the first ever of its kind. While much of the market and industry news has been in a stir over the looming–as some would put it “almost guaranteed”–creation of Bitcoin ETFs, the news came as a harsh ruling by the SEC on the potential for other funds.
However, while Bitcoin prices seemed to be rebuffed by the sudden news out of the U.S. regulatory agency, bullish investors were able to renew the price run on Friday morning, bringing BTC back into the $8300 range.
SEC and Bitcoin ETF
The denial of the Winklevoss ETF does represent a momentary setback for cryptocurrency. However, the SEC had previously announced a move to delay the decision on five other Bitcoin ETFs until September, giving the appearance that the agency is still collecting information on Bitcoin and evolving its position towards cryptocurrency. Given the overwhelming number of institutional figures, hedge fund leaders and other financial entities clamoring over the need for a regulated Bitcoin ETF, it seems only a matter of time until the SEC allows one to go through. As Arthur Hayes, co-founder of cryptocurrency exchange BitMex, told CNBC in early July, the presence of regulated funds in addition to greater government oversight in the investment process could lead to a significant price run for BTC.
While every investor and crypto-enthusiast has been espousing “institutional money” that has yet to throw its weight behind cryptocurrency, Hayes points out that most big-money and Wall Street players are waiting for greater clarity from government authorities before taking the plunge. Given the erratic nature of most exchanges, from hacks to the mounting catalog of consumer complaints, it’s almost no surprise that an ETF would provide a more appealing route for investing in Bitcoin. The bullish return for investors this morning would indicate that sentiments are still strong on the possibility of a BTC ETF creation, despite the setback received by the Winklevoss twins, as opposed to yesterday’s headlines concerning the status of a new fund formation.